Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grief Bombs

Grief-bombs.  What exactly is a grief-bomb?  A grief-bomb is a sudden emotion that you cannot control; it hits anytime and anywhere with NO warning.  Grief-bombs...I have been having a lot of these lately.  So why would today be any different?  I woke up to a grief bomb this morning.  Curled into a ball on my bed early this afternoon because of one.  And had a third later in the afternoon.  So I think to myself was there something that triggered these bombs?  Well this morning it was the simple fact of waking up.  Early this afternoon...no trigger that I can recall.  All I know is it came on so hard and so fast.  There I laid curled in a ball on my bed sobbing my eyes out.  The sun is shining and its a beautiful day but I cannot enjoy it because of the cloud looming above me.  The third bomb...well I know what triggered that one.  I was laying on the couch and happened to look at our wedding picture and then I glanced at our entertainment center.  And the tears came just like that.  Brian sat helpless because there are no words to stop my tears.  I said, "look at how happy we were.  Will we ever be that happy again?"  And then sitting on the entertainment center is the "Cherish" Willow Tree Ornament that my parents gave to us after we told them we were pregnant.  A symbol of pure joy.  So again I think...why did our babies have to die when we wanted them so badly?  But there is no answer.  I hurt so deeply and I simply do not understand.

This afternoon after my second bomb but before my third I was sitting outside reading my latest book "Eat Pray Love."  I came across the below paragraph and it really made me think... 

"Next lifetime you might come back as one of those poor Indian women busting up rocks by the side of the road, find out life ain't so much fun.  So appreciate what you got now, OK?  Keep cultivating gratitude.  You'll live longer.  And, Groceries?  Do me a favor?  Move ahead with your life, will ya?"  "I am."  "What I mean is--find somebody new to love someday.  Take the time you need to heal, but don't forget to eventually share your heart with someone.  Don't make your life a monument to David or to your ex-husband."  "I won't," I said.  And I knew suddenly that it was true--I wouldn't.  I could feel all this old pain of lost love and past mistakes attenuating before my eyes, diminishing at last through the famous healing powers of time, patience and the grace of God.

This book has nothing to do with what is currently happening in my life but after thinking about the words (and relating them to my life) I realized a couple of things.  My life could be worse (hard to imagine but it could).  I need to enjoy my life and be happy.  I need to move forward (with the girls in my heart) and look towards the future.  I need to take the time to heal.  And time will heal (to a degree).  But since healing takes time, I need to be patient. And thankfully through God's grace this will ALL be accomplished!

While I was sitting outside reading my book, the mail came.  I went to get it and as I reached the mailbox I noticed that the mailman was driving in reverse.  He said, "missed a piece of mail" and he handed me a package.  A package from a dear friend who knows my pain all to well.  I opened it up and inside was a book.  It couldn't have arrived on a better day.  Today was a day of struggles so even though the book brought some tears...it made me smile (and laugh) too!  And I really needed to smile and laugh today.  The page that made me laugh said...

MOMMY,
PLEASE DON'T CRY...
THE ANGELS ARE ALWAYS SINGING.
I LOVE TO SING WITH THE ANGELS!
YOU'D BE SO PROUD OF ME,
I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD VOICE.
I MUST HAVE GOTTEN IT
FROM YOU.

This made me (and Brian) laugh because if you know me...I DON"T have a good voice.  But my two favorite pages said...

MOMMY, PLEASE
DON'T CRY...
SOMETIMES I JUST LIKE
TO BE BY MYSELF.
THAT'S WHEN I THINK OF YOU.
SOMEDAY MOMMY, WE WILL
HOLD EACH OTHER TIGHT!
THEN YOU WILL CRADLE ME
IN YOUR ARMS
AND STROKE MY HAIR...
AND ONCE AGAIN, OUR
HEARTS WILL
BEAT TOGETHER.

MOMMY PLEASE
DON'T CRY...
I'LL WAIT RIGHT
HERE FOR YOU.

I am a mother who will forever grieve the loss of my perfect and beautiful daughters...but I have peace knowing that someday they will be at Heaven's gates waiting just for me (and their daddy)!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Ella

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning..."
Psalm 42:9

Today marks my sweet Ella Adrianna's 1 month birthday in heaven.  June 30, 2010 will forever be etched in my mind because my world came crashing down that day.  Not only had I lost my eldest daughter but now my second daughter too.  I walked out of the hospital empty handed and broken.  No mother (and father) should EVER have to leave the hospital without their child(ren).  We drove home in silence that day...wondering how we would ever pick up the broken pieces and begin living again.  And we have begun living again its just a lot more work.  I sit here crying as I type thinking about everything Ella would have been.  She would have brought so much joy to our lives.  I know my girls would have fought with the best of them but I know too in my heart that they would have been best friends.  But now I am left with the maybes and what ifs.  The day Ella was to be born, my aunt had a dream.  In her dream or vision (and mind you Ella was not born yet), there was one little 5 year old girl waiting in a field.  And then out of know where came a second little 5 year old girl.  They took hands and hand in hand ran through the fields of heaven together!!!  What a beautiful picture this is to a mother who has lost so much.  For some reason, God knew he needed my second daughter too...why I do not know.  But I trust that my Heavenly knows what is right and as much as I would give anything to see them running hand in hand here on earth, I know they are together in heaven.  And I cling to the promise that someday I WILL get to see them running hand in hand together (and that will be for forever).  Praise God!

What Makes A Mother

 I thought of you all, I closed my eyes
and prayed to God today. I asked what makes a Mother
and I know I heard Him say,
A Mother has a baby.
This we know is true. But God can you be a Mother
when your baby's not with you?"Yes you can!", He replied
with confidence in His voice,
"I give many women babies,
when they leave is not their choice."Some I send for a lifetime
and other's for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb
but there's no need to stay. I just don't understand this God,
I want my baby here. He took a breath and cleared His throat
and then I saw a tear.
I wish I could show you
what your child is doing today. If you could see your child smile
with other children and say,"We go to earth to learn our lessons
of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a Mom
who had so much love for me
I learned my lesson very quick
My Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much
but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep
on her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
and whisper in her ear,
Mommy don't be sad today
I'm your baby and I'm here."So you see
my dear sweet one,
your children are OK. Your babies are here in my home
and this is where they'll stay. They'll wait for you with me
until your lesson is through.
And on that day that you come home
they'll be at the gates for you. So now you see what makes a Mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of
right from the very start. Though some on earth may not realize
that you are a Mother until their time is done.
They'll be up here with me one day
and know you're the best one.

Written with love
for all the Mother's missing their babies

by Jennifer Wasik
 
Our trials are great opportunities, but all too often we simply see them as large obstacles.  If only we would recognize every difficult situation as something God has chosen to prove His love to us, each obstacle would then become a place of shelter and rest, and a demonstration to others of His inexpressible power...We must trust the Lord through the darkness, and honor Him with unwavering confidence even in the midst of difficult situations.  The reward of this kind of faith will be like that of an eagle shedding its feathers is said to receive-a renewed sense of youth and strength. (J.R. Macduff)
 
If we could see beyond today
As God can see;
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee;
O'er present griefs we would not fret.
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet
For you and me.
 
If we could know beyond today
As God does know,
Why dearest treasures pass away
And tears must flow;
And why the darkness leads to light,
Why dreary paths will soon grow bright;
Some day life's wrongs will be made right,
Faith tells us so.
 
"If we could see, if we could know,"
We often say,
But God in love a veil does throw
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
So we cling to Him the more,
He leads us till this life is o'er;
Trust and obey.
 
(Streams in the Desert)
 
Below are some of my birthday presents and gifts to the girls when they were born...
 
A frame (from my sis) with Jesus holding two babies
(our precious Alayna and Ella)
and a devotional (from my friend Kelly)
that renews our Hope in Him every day! 

A bracelet (from my friend Laura) that has the girl's full names
on the back of the charms and a necklace (the chain is from my
hubby and in-laws for my birthday) and the "A" and "E"
pendants are from my parents for the girls births).

My "A" and "E" picture frames (from my parents for my birthday)!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29th...

So today is my birthday.  The big 2-7...yikes.  As can be expected the day turned out much different than I had envisioned 6 weeks ago.  Today I would have been 26 weeks pregnant and maybe that belly of mine would have finally announced to the world that yes I am pregnant!  The morning started with a few tears that slowly subsided after a talk with the hubby.  In which, he reminded me that there will be better birthdays in the future!  Brian ended up taking the day off from work today so I didn't have to be alone on my birthday.  My original plan was to hang out with my sister (and her kids) lounging in her pool but that changed when she needed to have a kidney stone blasted today.  So off to Tunnel Park we went to spend the day in the sun.  The weather was perfect and better yet...we didn't run into anyone that we knew.  Brian was mostly a real trooper since he really doesn't like to sit out in the sun.  While I read my book (Eat, Pray, Love...which is quite addicting by the way), Brian kept asking if I wanted to throw the football around (always needs to be entertained at the beach).  After the beach we went for an early dinner to Goog's Pub and Grub...(excellent food and great service)!  Next we went for a short bike ride through Holland St Beach and Campground.  And finally finished with ice cream at Captain Sundae's.  Then home to R.E.L.A.X and receive phone calls from my 3 favorite little girls (here on earth).  They all called to wish me a Happy Birthday...thanks Ky, Addi, and Cam!!!  So overall it was a great birthday.  But thoughts of my girls are ALWAYS there.  The day was great but it still could have been better.  Such is life these days though I suppose.  Tomorrow is day 2 of my birthday celebration.  I am going to my sisters pool to hang out with all the girls of my family plus 2 really cute studs named Cole and Easton!  And then in the evening dinner with the in-laws.
The hubby and I at Tunnel Park

Birthday dinner at Goog's

Yesterday was my second day back at work.  Started the morning off cranky because I had to get up TWO MORNINGS IN A ROW...poor me I know.  Then I was fighting back tears driving into work (no idea why).  And I had to fight tears a couple of times at work.  Of course I had to work with the secretary who is due 2 weeks before what my due date was for the girls.  She was really sensitive though and gave me a big hug.  Then just as I was leaving another girl who I work with (who is due 3 weeks after my due date) came in.  She asked how I was (like she hadn't seen me in awhile and was simply catching up...at least thats how it felt) and said I looked really tan.  I said well I don't have much else to do these days and at that point I was glad I was heading home...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TRIALS

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation (trial) in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. (1 Peter 1:6-7; the Message)

What do you do when the rug is jerked out from under you?  Do you panic?  Do you doubt the Lord's love?  Do you trust in God to get you through the tough times? (Charles Swindoll). 

Imagine walking in to your doctor's office for your 20 week ultrasound.  You are eagerly anticipating whether your daughter is going to have a twin sissy or brother.  You are so excited and so carefree.  And then less than an hour later...your world comes crashing down.  Your dreams SMASHED to smithereens.  How do you pick up the pieces?  It's simple trust in your Heavenly Father.  And P.R.A.Y for His guidance and peace.  Those first few hours after finding out I was dilated were devastating and I will be honest when I say I was numb from the shock.  Why God came up quite often.  I was sick to my stomach.  I could not cry.  I could not smile.  I could not sleep.  All I could think was, "really God?"  Did I panic...no.  Did I doubt the Lord's love...no.  Did I trust God to get me through those first few days (and now the weeks and months to come)...YES.  I am so thankful I serve a faithful God who is and has been with me from the moment I heard those terrible words (you're dilated to a 4 and you need to go immediately to Spectrum Health's ER).  Now, I am by no means saying I am a perfect Christian but I know that God loves me in spite of all my imperfections.  So if I question why (frequently) and get angry (often) and think poor me (too many times to count)...my Heavenly Father is still with me and STILL LOVES ME.

Why then is it important that we have trials?

Trials, therefore, become a means to a greater end: a deeper relationship with Christ on earth and a richer reward from Him in heaven.  We must remember that we are never closer to Him, never more a recipient of His strength, than when trials come upon us.  This is especially true when we are reviled for the name of Christ.  One of the highest privileges on earth is to suffer for His sake.  At those times the Holy Spirit draws near, administers strength, and provides an abiding presence of God's glory.  (Charles Swindoll)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

And just to let you all know...my first day back to work went extremely well.  A definite answer to prayer.  I know every day won't go as well but hopefully I will have more good working days than bad.  Tomorrow is day 2 (another short 4 hour shift)...pray is goes just as well as day 1.  I am so blessed to work with such wonderful and caring coworkers.  A simple hug and we're praying for you goes a LONG ways!  And a big yea for NO awkward comments : )


Your Hands by JJ Heller


I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Our world is shaking and our hearts our breaking but Brian and I will always be in God's perfect hands!

Monday, July 26, 2010

HOPE

HOPE is a wonderful gift from God, a source of strength and courage in the face of life's harshest trials.

-When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the light at the end.
-When we are overworked and exhausted, hope gives us fresh energy.
-When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits.
-When we are tempted to quit, hope keeps us going.
-When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination, hope dulls the edge of panic.
-When we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness, hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.
-When we fear the worst, hope brings reminders that God is in control.
-When we must endure the consequences of bad decisions, hope fuels our recovery.
-When we find ourselves unemployed, hope tells us we still have a future.
-When we are forced to sit back and wait, hope gives us the patience to trust.
-When we feel rejected and abandoned, hope reminds us we're not alone...we'll make it.
-When we say our final farewell to someone we love, hope in the life beyond gets us through our grief

(The Old Fisherman's Letter)

Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade, nothing helps like hope.  Hope isn't merely a nice option that helps us temporarily clear a hurdle.  It's essential to our survival.  (Charles Swindoll)

Hope is what keeps me going.  It is what makes me get up each morning to face another day.  On a side note, I finally figured out why I now hate mornings.  I hate mornings because each morning I must start from  scratch.  When I say "from scratch," I mean at the end of a day I have come to terms with my "new normal."  But as much as I want time to fly by, in order for time to fly by I have to start another day.  And that means embracing the mornings so I can get to the evenings so I can get to another day so I can get to THE happier place God has in store for both Brian and I!  So as you can see...hope is essential to my survival. 

"But those who hope in Lord
will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint."
(Isaiah 40:31)

So today was a big day for Brian and I.  We met with our fertility specialist and although I will not be disclosing any major details on this blog, we were given renewed Hope!!!  Our fertility specialist thinks (but cannot conclude) that its seems more likely that I developed a random infection rather than having a cervical issue.  We do not know exactly what lays ahead but we put our full trust in God!

Glory Baby(ies)

Glory Baby by Watermark

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby...
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby...
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…



Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do



Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…


BRIDGE:


I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Alayna Joy

Love at first sight...
 
Ella Adrianna

You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.  (John 13:7)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Surviving

My Mom Is A Survivor

My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night
when all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.

 
But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others...
a smile of disguise!
But through Heaven's door I see
tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it is her way to survive.

 
As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that angels
protect me forevermore.



I know that doesn't help her...
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her...
and show her that you care.

 
For no matter what she says...
no matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.


By Kaye Des'Ormeaux

Broken Heart

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
(Psalm 9:1-2)

Yesterday was a rough day.  All I wanted to do was cry, so for most of the day I just let the tears come.  The day started with sad thoughts but I kept the tears in.  Then Brian and I were doing some errands and as we were walking into Home Depot I almost started to cry again but I managed to keep the tears at bay.  Next stop was Kohl's.  I saw a great spot but Brian thought he saw a better one...and of course it happened to be an expectant mother's spot...well that brought the tears.  There was no holding back.  I managed to get through the rest of our errands but the sadness never went away.  We stopped by my parents in the evening...more tears.  Brian and I watched a movie at night (not sad by any means) but right when the movie was finished...more tears.  Why was my laughter traded in for tears O Lord? 

Lately my thoughts keep drifting to two beautiful (blonde and brown haired) little girls who would one day be running around our house changing our lives.  The vision makes me teary-eyed.  But those two little angels will never run around our house.  My heart constantly aches.  And word cannot even begin to express the immense sadness I feel...

But my God is a faithful God who is always by my side.  It breaks His heart to see my hurting heart.  So He will carry me through even when I am too weak because he love me so much!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.  What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:  "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:28-39)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Alayna

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Today marks one month that my sweet baby Alayna has been in heaven.  I cannot believe she has been living in paradise for one whole month already.

Going Home

Go rest now precious one,
Your life in eternity has just begun.
Now you can walk, your legs are brand new.
All of heaven is now in your view.

Look all around, it's all in your sight,
There will never be another dark night.
Flowers and jewels, the street of pure gold,
And all of the things that have been told.

I can just imagine the smile on your face
As you walk all around in that beautiful place.
Greeting our loved ones as you walk along,
While singing heaven's most beautiful song.

This is so very hard, but it will all be okay,
It isn't goodbye, we'll see you one day.
We love you and we'll miss you and at times it will be tough,
But as with everything, God's grace will be enough.

~author unknown

I continue to pray without ceasing that the pain will ease. And it has a tiny bit. But every morning I still wake up thinking about what it would have been like to see her grow up. I remind myself that I will get to be her mommy forever in heaven but that doesn't always help when I want her here with me now. Thankfully its Saturday today which means my positive hubby was home to change my attitude and get me out of bed. And in our devotion time I was reminded that "Faith is believing what we do not see, and the reward for this kind of faith is to see what we believe (Saint Augustine).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Morning Aches

I woke up this morning with that sick feeling in my stomach again.  I miss my girls the most when I first wake up in the mornings.  I wonder when and if this feeling will ever go away.  I've been told it will but when your in the midst of grieving it feels like it never will.  Last night Brian and I were once again reminded that God has not forgotten us nor have our prayers gone unanswered...

The Lord has an inconceivably glorious purpose for each of His children.  "If this is true," you ask, "why is it that He continues to wait longer and longer to offer His grace and to provide the help I seek, even after I have come and waited on Him?"  He does so because He is a wise gardener who "waits for the land to yield its valuable crop" and is "patient...for the autumn and spring rains" (James 5:7).  God knows He cannot gather the fruit until it is ripe, and He knows precisely when we are spiritually ready to receive blessings for our gain and His glory.  And waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen our soul for His blessings.  Also, waiting under the clouds of trials is as important, for they will ultimately produce showers of blessings.  Rest assured that if God waits longer than we desire, it is simply to make the blessings doubly precious.  Remember, He waited four thousand years, "but when the time had fully come, God sent his Son" (Gal 4:4).  Our time is in His hands, and He will quickly avenge those He has chosen, swiftly coming to our support without ever delaying even one hour too long. (Streams in the Desert)

Of course I read this and many questions still surface.  Such as, we waited months to get pregnant, finally got pregnant through IVF...so wasn't that our waiting period...weren't our twins our double blessing? When does God think Brian and I will be ready to receive our blessing(s)?  How does God determine who has to wait and why do Brian and I have to wait even longer.  We were ready to welcome our little girls into every aspect of our lives.  We were SO excited to be a family of four.  I constantly pray that I will just trust in God's plan for our lives and leave it at that...easier said than done since this brain of mine NEVER shuts down (except when I sleep)...

But as always my day did get better.  I spent the whole day at my sisters...swimming in her pool and enjoying the sun!  First with my mom, sister, all three of my nieces and one of my nephews.  Then Cambrey got her wish and Uncle Brian came to swim after work.  And even later Papa Duke (and grandma came again)!

4 reasons to smile...


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Busy Days

I have had a busy last few days which is a good thing because that means time is a-moving!  I still wish I could fast forward time but since that won't be happening I am content that time is not creeping by.  I have found that if I pack my days full not only do they move quicker but that I am easily distracted from the constant ache of losing the girls.  Mornings are still rough but if I make plans early then I have no choice but to get up and get moving. 

Yesterday I made plans to meet my friend Lacey for breakfast at Rainbow Grill (my fave breakfast place)...and after breakfast we went and sat by my sister's pool for the rest of the afternoon.  After sitting in the 90 degree heat and sweating bullets, I decided that I was going to call my new doctor and see what his opinion was about swimming in a pool.  And the verdict is...it is a-okay to swim in a pool!!!  Thank heavens cause I was starting to get a little antsy about not being able to swim.  Then our good friends (the Zeinstras) invited us over for dinner at night.  We grilled out (well tried to) and had a wonderful dinner with great friends.  And of course the girls (Avery and Lily) always keep things interesting!  The night was not done yet.  Our last stop was to Brian's parents to drop off the shutterfly books that I made of the girls.  And then to Brian's delight, we headed home!

I didn't sleep the greatest last night (nervous tummy) because today I had a meeting with my manager about when I would be coming back to work.  I was more nervous about how I would feel walking into the place where I had delivered my sweet baby girls than actually talking with my manager.  I shed some tears as I was driving to the meeting but asked Jesus to just be with me.  I prayed that I wouldn't view the hospital as a "bad place" but rather simply the place where I work.  And it all went very smoothly.  I talked with my manager and then walked around my floor and chatted with some of my coworkers.  I made it through (mostly) tearless.  PLEASE send up lots of prayers to the Big Guy...Tuesday is my first day back (after 6 weeks off).  I will be starting slow.  First some four hour shifts, then a combination of four and eight hour shifts, then a combination of eight and twelve hour shifts, and finally ending with my three twelve hour shifts.  It will be a good distraction but still not looking forward to returning to work.  I told Brian the other day that if a parent loses a child, then they should get three months (per child) off  from work (completely paid)...this includes husbands getting that same amount of time off.  But my realistic hubby says then all company's would go bankrupt...thanks babe.  I suppose life has to resume; resume to my "new normal." 

Then I met one of my bestest buddies at Panera Bread for lunch and after lunch we got pedicures!  We do this every year to celebrate our birthdays (since our birthdays are just a week apart)!  It was great catching up on life and she is a great listener and encourager!!!  Thanks Kare...love ya!  My evening was just as busy.  As soon as Brian got home it was off to Holland to find me a chain for my new "A" and "E" pendants (that my wonderful mother gave me to remember Alayna and Ella by).  I cannot wait to pick it up next week and wear it ALL the time.  My girls will always be with me...they will NEVER be forgotten!  And after a few more stops, we made it to my brother and sister-in-laws to meet my new nephew.  I was a little nervous about how it would go but I am glad to report it was a tear-free visit.  I wasn't sure if I would even want to pick him up but it felt right so I did.  I told my niece Kylynn that I now know what a "male" version of her looks like...she just smiles.  As we are leaving (and I should add here that my hubby had to deal with a cranky wife most of the evening.  Why was I cranky...I have no idea...maybe the hormones or my hubby's constant teasing) but anyways as we drove away I felt a little sad that I never get to hold my Alayna and Ella again.  Then Brian said to me, "but you will be their mommy forever in heaven."  How true, earth is just temporary but heaven is forever!  And what a gift that will be...heaven and my little angels...forever and forever!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Day

Last night Brian and I were laying in bed and with tears in my eyes I said to Brian I want my girls back.  I want to be pregnant with them again.  I miss them SO much...

Seeing their names on a plaque in the cemetery is so confusing.  I should be 25 weeks pregnant this week.  Their little body's should be inside me not buried beneath some dirt.  I know they are with Jesus but that doesn't always make me feel better.  Would it make you if you lost a child?  I will never see them walk, I will never see them play soccer, I will never see them graduate, I will never see them get married, and I will never be a grandma to their children.  There are no words to describe the hurt.  NONE.

I fell asleep crying last night and I woke up this morning with more tears.  But by the grace of God I pulled myself out of bed and jumped in the shower.  And the day did get better.  I went with my mom to Grand Haven to visit my aunt and some cousins who were renting a cottage.  It was a beautiful day and I was surrounded by family.  And then tonight Brian had a softball game and I stayed HOME ALONE for the first time since before June 15.  I did have a back up plan (to go to my mom's house) but I did it and am so proud of myself...baby steps for me as life slowly takes on its new normal.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Missing Alayna and Ella

Tonight I went to Brian's softball game.  A big step for me since I don't like to go out into the public.  It went okay for the most part.  But I can't help but notice all the little children at the game.  And my thoughts drift to what would it have been like (at this time next year) to take two 9 month olds to see daddy play softball.  I guess I will never know and that makes me sad... 
 
After Brian's softball game we went to visit the girls.  It is so hard seeing their names in a cemetery when they should still be in my womb.  We never stay too long because it's still too hard for me.  I always get teary eyed but its important to us to visit them.  They were and forever will be a part of us.

Grieving

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid." (Psalm 56:3-4)

Another book that I just finished reading called, A Symphony in the Dark...Hearing God's Voice in Seasons of Grief gave me more perspective on the loss of my girls.  "Only we who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb can both weep and laugh at the same time, and with hearts that are breaking in pieces scattered all over the floor say with sincerity and honesty that it is well with my soul." (Gary J. Oliver).  The author (Rebecca Rainey Mutz) lost her firstborn too. Her story is different than mine (and Angie Smiths) but many of the feelings are the same. Just like me (and Angie), Rebecca said over and over again, "I just can't believe this is happening." She would wake up in the morning and realize she wasn't dreaming. She felt like the journey was too hard and that she wouldn't survive.  Both Angie and Rebecca leaned on God and believed with their whole hearts that God was still good even when bad things happened.  And though the hurt is still there, time does and will heal to a certain degree.  My hope is that I too will come away from this experience a better person.  That my girls short lives will be a testimony to others and bring me (and Brian) into a closer relationship with God.

"Grief is hard work and exhausting. Only with the prayers of others and the minute by minute comfort of the Holy Spirit--even when not felt--can a parent endure the loss of a child." (Lynn Stroud).  If you've never experienced the loss of a child and I pray you never do, you may not understand why I act the way I do.  So I want to share a little more so you will be patient with me.  First the smallest things can bring me to tears.  I never know when the tears/feelings will hit but out of the blue they do.  Seeing a pregnant belly, hearing a baby cry, remembering when my girls were in my womb (kicking me), dreaming about who they would become...thoughts of them come at any place and at any time.  Then come the feelings of frustration and anger.  I am angry that others lives move on, while mine is empty and void.  Sadness hangs above me like a cloud.  No one else has the daily reminder that they lost two beautiful children.  Two children who were so wanted.  As Rebecca writes, "For us, the loss was continual, throughout each and every day.  I missed our old life, our old normal.  We didn't get to go back to the old normal anymore.  Jacob (her husband) told me that we now had to learn to adjust together to our new normal.  I found this hard and did not want to deal with it.  Life was forever changed--different, scary."  For Brian and I, it's one day at a time, one foot forward, as we continue to grieve and mourn our sweet baby girls. "To believe in Christ, in this moment, in this perplexity, in this frustration, in these setbacks, in this present agony, is the victory of the highest order." (Andree Seu)

Thank You for your continual support and prayers as I (we) walk this long road,
Lindsey

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Burden Carriers

Since losing the girls, I have been reading a lot of blogs and books that deal with loss.  The first book (that I just finished) was written by Angie Smith.  It is called I Will Carry You...The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy.  I took to heart a lot of what Angie wrote but below are some things that I wanted to share.

Sorrow is one of the things that are lent, not given.
A thing that is lent may be taken away;
a thing that is given is not taken away.
Joy is given;
sorrow is lent.
We are not our own,
we are bought with a price...
(Our sorrow) is lent to us for just a little while
that we may use it for eternal purposes.
Then it will be taken away
and everlasting joy will be
our Father's gift to us,
and the Lord God will wipe away
all the tears from off all faces.
-Amy Carmichael

I am praising God that Sorrow is NOT here to stay. That someday my Sorrow WILL once again turn to Joy!  "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." (John 16:20).  What a promise we have if we stay faithful to our Lord and Savior.  Brian and I have chosen to stay faithful...knowing God has something bigger in store for us.  God knows what it is like to sit by and watch a beloved only child die.  He sees our tears and wipes them away one by one.  He feels our pain.  But His promise remains.  He will not leave us.  He will hold us up with His right hand, even when we are too weak or exhausted to cling to Him.  Our story is not done, it is just beginning.  I may have empty arms now, which is something I am dealing with every day, but someday I will hold my perfect little angels again in my Heavenly Father's home and what a day that will be!

How you can help me deal:

Grief is a winding, nasty road that has no predictable course, and the best thing you can do as a friend is to show up for the ride.  You cannot rush grief.  A time will come when we are ready to take the next step, but that is between the Lord and ourselves.  In the meantime, please be sensitive to those who are grieving, aware that they may not be able to do "normal" things for quite a while. (Angie Smith)

And finally...

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"  Then he said, "Write this down, for these word are trustworthy and true." Rev 21:4-5

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's A Roller Coaster Kind of Life

I don't like roller coasters but that is what my life has become.  I wake up every morning asking Why Lord?  Why Us? Why did you think we could handle a trial THIS BIG?  My emotions change every minute from sad to happy to angry.  Yesterday is a perfect example.  I woke up feeling very sad.  I woke up wishing it was early June, back to when I had the "perfect life."  Back to when my baby girls were snuggled together safely in my womb.  But I can't go back...I can NEVER go back.  I can only move forward.  A close friend gave me a bracelet in remembrance of my girls with their names imprinted on it.  I put that bracelet on and instantly felt better.  It was like my girls were telling me, "we are right here with you mommy."  And they will always be with me...because they will live in my heart forever.   

Trusting even when it appears you have been forsaken; praying when it seems your words are simply entering a vast expanse where no one hears and no voice answers; believing that God's love is complete and that he is aware of your circumstances, even when your world seems to grind on as if setting its own direction and not caring for life or moving one inch in response to your petitions; desiring only what God's hands have planned for you; waiting patiently while seemingly starving to death, with your only fear being that your faith might fail-"this is the victory that has overcome the world"; this is genuine faith indeed (George MacDonald).

The rest of my day did get better because I spent time with tweedle dee and tweedle dum (as my hubby likes to call them).  First stop tweedle dee...that would be my mom.  I went to my mom's house and we had a long talk.  She gives me so much hope for the future.  That someday I will be a mommy again and that Brian will be a daddy.  And that we will be able to tell other children about their big sisters!  Next stop....tweedle dumb...that would be my sister. She too (just like my mom) keeps my spirits high and my hopes alive.  I am so thankful for my sister, thankful that she is a teacher, and thankful that she lets me hang out at her house every day.  I have a hard time being alone these days so when Brian is at work or playing softball, my mom and my sister "baby-sit" me.  Anyways I headed to my sisters to sit by her pool in the 90 some degree heat.  But before we could just sit by the pool and talk...we had to entertain my sisters little ones.  Her oldest, my niece Cambrey loves her Aunt Linny so much.  She is always asking me to go swimming (she pry remembers how much we went swimming together last year) and I keep telling her that Aunt Linny can't go swimming just yet and she says, "because you have babies in your belly?"  I smile at her innocence and tell her that I can't go swimming because I had babies in my belly but that they went to heaven to be with Jesus.  She then says to me Layna and Ella in heaven.  And I smile and say yes Layna and Ella in heaven!  Later as I am putting Cambrey down for her nap, out of the blue she asks me if I am sad.  So I am honest and say that yes Aunt Linny is sad but that that is okay.  Love her...she keeps me smiling!  Then the rest of the day/night is spent with my rock (my amazing hubby).  We had a low key night (we seem to have a lot of these lately).  We ate some home cooked chicken lasagna (not my doing), played a little boche ball, did our devotions, and watched a movie.  So even though the day started out rough...it ended okay.  Every day has its good and bad moments...this is a part of my new life.